30 Shades of Mr. Wrong: Mr. Checkered Past

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Posted by Jenn Clark on June 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM

“How he behaved in the past is the biggest indicator of how he will behave in your future together.” - Jenn Clark

I love the saying “the past is prologue.”  Very often who a person was is who they are and who they will be.  People don’t really change that much.  It’s not that a man has to be perfect or live in a house with a skeleton-free closet.  (Good luck finding that.)  However, the guy who unapologetically flaunts every bad thing he’s ever done within five seconds of knowing you is bad news.  He’s the one who, on the first date, will tell you about the various women he slept with and how he cheated on his last girlfriend with the entire staff of “Crazy Girls.”  Or maybe he’ll unload about his run-ins with the law and how many times he’s had to hire an attorney.  He’ll probably add, “But that was a long time ago,” just so you don’t run from the table.

If a new guy admits his every flaw without getting to know you first, consider it his way of warning you.  He’s - in effect - saying, “Watch out, I’m a bad guy.”  If you accept all of this and tell him it’s okay, part of him will wonder what’s wrong with you that you’d want to be with such a loser.  

A good guy won’t be perfect.  But he’ll wait a while before he shows you his mistakes and flaws.  He won’t wear them like a badge of honor.


Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” You can find it on her Facebook page or on or on Twitter @JennX30


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  • Posted by Anonymous on June 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM
"People don't really change that much"... Oh, really? I am VERY different than I was 18 years ago when I had my son, 13 years ago when I joined the military, 5 years ago when I was medically discharged and, even 3 years ago when I got my degree. Those are just a few public events of my life that have MASSIVELY changed who I am, each time. As far as telling you his dirty laundry early... He could be trying to make sure you know he's got a past because its not cleaned up yet, i.e. child from the past means an ex is in the picture, court trouble can still cause problems 10 years later with employment, home loans, etc., and frankly anyone who has a bad reputation that has committed to changing has to deal with the stigma. Imagine the second date...guy doesn't tell you he had a kid, got in trouble in court and used to drink too go out and run into an ex of his who pulls you to the side to divulge what a douche he used to be and how he got in trouble, just in time for you to return to the table to him slipping his phone into his pocket after having a heated text battle with the mother-of-his-kid-you-don't-know-about and you are suspicious. Turns out she was mad because he picked up the wrong formula before dropping the baby off for the weekend. But, all of this is supposed to be a secret until he knows you better so you don't get scared of what you call drama...he calls it his REAL LIFE. Don't be so quick to judge the guy. Most likely, the last girl called him a liver for not divulging something in time. The keys, which the author has been negligent in providing, is to talk about what this means for his life; how it affects him, how he's changed/changing, and what does that mean for you. Admitting his past without hesitation doesn't mean it's a badge of courage, it means that he doesn't want to surprise you with things that have surprised people in the past.